SAVANNAH, Ga. (WSAV) – A special Chatham County Grand Jury handed down the decision Thursday on two former officers of the Savannah Police Department in an excessive force case.
Sgt. Mike Arango has been formally charged with false imprisonment — a felony with the possibility of up to five years in prison — and simple battery.
Meanwhile, Cpl. Daniel Kang faces no charges.
During a warrant sweep in April, the officers apprehended Darryle Faitele rather than Khalil Kelley, the man they were actually searching for.
Arango’s lawyer says Faitele ran inside his apartment as the officers approached, sending a signal that he was the person they sought.
According to the police report, officers entered the apartment and attempted to apprehend Faitele who “disregarded several commands.”
The indictment alleges Arango unlawfully arrested Faitele and intentionally made physical contact “of an insulting or provoking nature,” hitting him in the head.
Arango’s lawyer maintains the officer was not crossing the line during the arrest.
The body camera footage, viewed by the grand jury, has not been made public. But members of the Savannah CARES task force did review it.
The group, recently formed to investigate use of force incidents, recommended firing Arango and Kang possibly pressing charges.
Though an internal affairs investigation called for their suspension, Savannah Police Chief Roy Minter decided to fire both officers. Chatham County DA Meg Heap later made the decision to call a special grand jury.
Arango and Kang had 15 and eight years experience, respectively.
Arango will be arrested and could have a bond hearing in the coming weeks.